The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) has invited MRA Marketing’s Mike Rigby to give a masterclass on marketing and merchandising at its first Branch Managers’ Forum.

The two-day conference, held on 30 April and 1 May at BMF’s Coventry HQ, will help merchant branch managers develop and run their depots as efficiently and profitably as possible.

The full title of Mr Rigby’s masterclass is ‘How Marketing and Merchandising can transform your customer experience and your sales’. “It’s a bit a mouthful, but it’s no exaggeration,” he said. “Many people ignore the full potential of marketing and merchandising and just focus on the detail. Or they think you have to have big budgets to achieve big effects. But in my experience you just have to think big, and with a bit of help most people can do that.”

John Newcomb, BMF managing director, said: “The Branch Managers’ Forum is a hugely exciting new venture for the BMF. Branch managers are the lynchpin of the industry and this is the first major forum designed specifically for them. We have lined up a fantastic range of speakers to stimulate new thinking across a wide range of activities and galvanise action when delegates return to their branches. Numbers are limited to just two branch managers from each BMF merchant member so we can spread the opportunity, and as many merchants as possible can learn from these masterclasses. I’d advise those who are interested to book up as soon as possible.”

MRA Marketing is a long-standing BMF service member that specialises in helping companies grow fast and achieve stretching goals in building and construction markets. Mr Rigby spent 10 years in marketing with Dulux Paints before heading up marketing for a national builders’ merchant.

The conference will feature expert sessions on leadership, digital and social media, employment and training, as well as health and safety, and security. Masterclasses on products from plumbing to bricks and blocks will give branch managers the knowledge they need to boost sales and train staff effectively.

Champion rally driver, stunt driver and TV presenter Penny Mallory is the event’s keynote speaker, and will advise on what it takes to be a world-class performer.

BMF members should register now with Christine Harding on 02476 854982 or, or call June Upton on 02476 854980.